While skiing down Mount Yōtei's steep slopes appeals to many, some would much rather appreciate the view from down below. Get back to nature by soaking in the prefecture's hot springs at Shikotsu-Toya National Park, or come in February for the Sapporo Snow Festival, during which the region is covered in towering snow and ice sculptures. Where to stay: Lying amid Hokkaido's Hanazono forests and snow-covered meadows, Zaborin offers a secluded villa retreat. Zaborin's 15 villas place focus on the outside, with floor-to-ceiling windows and minimally decorated interiors. While away the hours soaking in one of two onsen baths, filled with mineral-rich volcanic water.